Kruse Lifts Bowling Green Past Ferris State in Overtime, 2-1
Freshman forward Brandon Kruse scores in overtime for Falcons

Freshman forward Brandon Kruse scored in overtime for the Falcons
Prd Time  Team Score Type Scored By Assists
1st 15:38  BGS1-0 EV Brandon Kruse (7)Mitchell McLain/12, Tyler Spezia/5
2nd 15:50  FSU1-1 PP Jason Tackett (2)Joe Rutkowski/13, Trevor Recktenwald/6
OT 12:05  BGS2-1 EV GW Brandon Kruse (8)Mitchell McLain/13, Tyler Spezia/6
Scoring 1st 2nd 3rd OT Final
Ferris State  01001
Bowling Green  10012
Shots on Goal 1st 2nd 3rd OT SOG
Ferris State  11710735
Bowling Green  212491064
Team Stats and Records  PP PIM SHGF
Ferris State (14-22-1)  1/6 6/12 0
Bowling Green (21-10-6)  0/6 6/12 0
Ferris State Goaltending MIN GA 1 2 3 OT Saves
Darren Smith (L, 8-11-1)72:052 20249962
Bowling Green Goaltending MIN GA 1 2 3 OT Saves
Ryan Bednard (W, 13-6-4)72:051 11610734

BOWLING GREEN, Oh. - The Bowling Green State University hockey team certainly picked a convenient time to win its first overtime game of the 2017-18 season. In the Falcons' opening game of the 2018 Western Collegiate Hockey Association Playoffs, Brandon Kruse's goal 12:05 into the first extra frame gave BGSU a 2-1 victory over Ferris State and a key 1-0 lead in the best-of-three series. Kruse powered home both goals, while Mitch McLain and Tyler Spezia earned assists on each score. The initial goal came 15:36 into the first period, and the Falcons carried that for a full 20 minutes. However, the Bulldogs tied the game with 4:10 left in the second, and neither team could dent the scoreboard further during regulation. BGSU's offense attempted 64 shots, the team's most in 26 years. They are now 21-10-6 overall and 10-4-5 at home. Before tonight, they had been 0-1-6 this season in overtime.

Scoring Plays

- Period 1 | 15:38 -- After peppering Bulldog goaltender Darren Smith throughout the first period, the Falcons finally made it pay off with a Brandon Kruse shot from just outside the top of the crease. Tyler Spezia and Mitch McLain fought for a loose puck on the boards behind the net, and McLain managed to knock it back towards Kruse. Kruse managed to corral it, hesitated, then fired a wrist shot high into the net for his seventh goal of the season.

- 1st Overtime | 12:05 -- As the first overtime period began to wind down, the Falcons forced a turnover in their defensive zone that created a 2-on-1 breakaway. Mitch McLain took the puck down the right side with Brandon Kruse accompanying him on the left. McLain attempted a shot that ricocheted off Smith, and Kruse found the rebound. His shot soared past a diving Smith and into the net, handing BGSU the victory.

Statistical Standouts

- BGSU's overtime victory was their first since March 10, 2017 at Bemidji State. That 4-3 victory came in Game 1 of their second-round WCHA playoff series; the Falcons swept the series 24 hours later with a 2-1 win.

- The last overtime playoff win at home for the Falcons was March 13, 2015 against Northern Michigan (4-3) in Game 1 of the first round. The team swept with a 4-1 win the following night.

- The Falcons are now 15-4 in first round playoff games during Chris Bergeron's eight seasons as head coach.

- BGSU's 64 shots on goal are the most by the team since 62 on Jan. 18, 1992. The Falcons won 8-3 at Ferris State in that contest.

- The Falcons took 21 shots on goal in the first period to tie their season-best. In the second period, they set a new season record with 24 more.

- Freshman Brandon Kruse tallied two goals for the first multi-goal game of his career. He now has eight goals in his debut season, and the team is 5-1-2 when he scores.

- Kruse, who is second on the team with 33 points, has a five game points streak. He has at least one in ten of his last 11 games and four multi-point games in his last ten.

- Senior Mitch McLain scored two assists and has 13 this season. It is his first multi-assist game of the season and fifth of his career.

- McLain attempted a career-high 11 shots on goal. Max Johnson's eight shots on goal were also a career high.

- McLain now has five assists in the last two postseasons and ten career postseason points.

- Senior Tyler Spezia also posted two assists for his first multi-assist game of the season and seventh of his career.

- Spezia is now on a six-game postseason points streak after earning a point in all five playoff games last season.

- Spezia has seven career playoff assists, all in the last two seasons, and ten career playoff points.

- Bowling Green blocked 18 shots, led by three from Sam Craggs. A total of 12 Falcons had at least one.

- Ferris State attempted 35 shots, and Ryan Bednard turned away 34. The 34 saves are a career high for Bednard.

- The Falcons were 0-for-6 on the power play and 5-for-6 on the penalty kill.

- BGSU held a 44-35 edge on faceoffs, with McLain winning 19 and Connor Ford adding 12 more.

- Chris Pohlkamp played in his 100th career game tonight.

- The Falcons have won five in a row against the Bulldogs and 12 of the past 15 meetings in the series.

Up Next

- Bowling Green and Ferris State will drop the puck on Game Two of their first-round WCHA Playoff series at 7:07 p.m. tomorrow night (March 3) at the Slater Family Ice Arena. BGSU will attempt to win their eighth consecutive first round series; a win would provide the team with its fourth sweep in that span. Their most recent opening-round sweep was last season, also at home against the Bulldogs.